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Six original songs imbued with the spirit of the blues’ greatest traditions and seven vibrant takes on classic tunes by Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Son House and more. From front porch acoustic finger-picking to swaggering Chicago shuffles and dark, swampy blues, Curtis and Alan play with the joy of kids in a candy store, delighting in the rich, captivating legacy of the blues.
Curtis Salgado: Vocals, Harmonica, Piano (10)
Alan Hager: Guitars, Vocal (11)
LaRhonda Steele: Vocals (8)
Jim Pugh: Piano (3)
Keith Brush: Bass (5, 9, 13)
Russ Kleiner: Drums (5, 9)
Jimi Bott: Drums (3)
Brian Foxworth: Drums (8)
Carlton Jackson: Percussion (12)
Produced by Curtis Salgado and Alan Hager
Recorded by Dennis Carter at Falcon Recording Studios, Portland, OR
Mixed by Johnny Lee Schell at Ultra Tone Studios, Studio City, CA
Mastered by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering, Burbank, CA
Notes by Marc Lipkin
Photos by Jessica Keaveny
Packaging design by Kevin Niemiec
Management: Shane Tappendorf, Odaglas LLC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Booking: Intrepid Artists, email@example.com
Special Thanks to Erika Olsen, Mike Crider, Kathy Goranson, Suzanne Dominique, Katey Angel, Wendy and Philip Salgado, Richard Shurman, Jordan Pollack, Marlon McClain, Tony Braunagel, Ross Hamilton, Rand Gerlach, Bruce Iglauer and the staff at Alligator Records.
Curtis Salgado plays Hohner Harmonicas customized by Joe Filisko
Alan Hager plays a 1918 Martin 0-18, Gibson Custom Shop ES 330 and Gibson Custom Shop SG
Curtis Salgado's earth-shaking vocals and forceful harmonica playing have been devastating audiences around the world for over 30 years. Alan Hager's guitar expertise has been wowing fellow musicians from his hometown of Portland, Oregon and beyond for decades. Hager has been jamming with Salgado since 2003, and joined his band full-time in 2015. “Alan is the best player in the business, unlike anybody else,” Salgado says.
Together, the two blues fans and friends took time out of their busy touring schedule to record Rough Cut, a stripped-down album featuring a potent mix of newly written, timeless originals and carefully chosen blues covers. "We did it for the love of the music," says Salgado. "This is where our hearts are. These are deep songs that we love to play."
With Curtis' inspired singing and world-class harmonica playing and Alan's spellbinding guitar, Rough Cut is the album Salgado and Hager have always wanted to make together—soulful, sparse, haunting—a blues lover’s dream come true. The music is a moving exploration of the joyful, emotionally uplifting power of passionately played and soulfully sung acoustic blues, the music Hager calls "American Classical." "This type of music moves us the most," says Salgado. "You believe it when you hear it."